Secret Codes And Battleships
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Label: Mercury Records, EMI Records
Release: 21/10/2011
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Stupid Mistake
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Release: 7/05/2012
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Bloodstained Heart
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Release: 05/09/2011
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Black Out The Sun
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Talk Talk Talk
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Release: 24/06/2011
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This Delicate FILM We've Made
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Release: 02/2009
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The Time Machine Tour
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Release: 21/07/2008
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Big Night In...
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Label: Roadshowvideo
Release: 1/12/2006
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Truly Madly Completely
Format: CD/DVD
Label: Roadshow
Release: 21/11/2005
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Автор: JulyGarden 9 апреля 2008 Комментарии: 0 Просмотров: 1330    
Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Truly Madly Deeply

In December 2005 I attended a screening of a documentary about singer George Michael at a cinema in London.

I didn't know much about the evening or what the film was. I just knew that his publicist had invited me to attend a friends and family screening of the film.
If you know anything about me you'll know I'm notoriously terrible at the job of celebrity. I've famously uninvited myself from many a dinner with many a star simply because I always feel fraudulent (don't we all?).

But I wanted to attend this event because George was quite simply someone who really inspired me to want to sing. I'd met him a couple of times in the past and he always struck me as such a shy and sensitive soul and more importantly I felt he'd been down a few roads I was about to travel.
So I took my then assistant and now amazingly successful author Lana Penrose as my date.

As we pulled up in our taxi I saw a line of paparazzi and a crowd of about a hundred in front of the Curzon theatre. My immediate reaction was to tell the cabbie to keep driving and take me home. I had no idea it was a gala event and I was in my 'in between albums' state of not wanting to be in the public eye.
But we got out and just before we went in, Lana tried to say something supportive about making sure we smiled for the cameras.

Bless her heart, she had assumed that I would step out of the car and the press would instantly recognize me and cameras would start flashing. Little did she know that when you're someone like me you're usually 'announced' to the press before you hit the red carpet. Without a manager or publicist or anyone from a record label this was simply not going to happen. My first thought was to just get in as quickly as we could. We approached the front door and the most humiliating thing that can ever happen to a personality happened : the gaggle of photographers took one look at Lana and I and dismissed us. Cameras that were actually on high alert suddenly relaxed and they all looked past us in the distance to see who else might turn up.

We walked in and Lana, rather like a child who can not lie, blurted out 'Oh God How embarrassing!'. To which my face flushed. I explained to her what I just explained to you and she got it.

We made our way to our seats. In front of us, a very rude D list UK 'celebrity' was being snooty to the poor usher who was showing people to their seats. All around me it felt like the audience was filled with people just looking to see who was in the room. It was a bad vibe and once again I just wanted to leave.
We sat down and I don't know possessed me but I decided to say hello to the person sitting to my right.

I never do this.
I always assume no one knows who I am and so I said 'Hello, I'm Darren'.
The man looked at me and said 'Hi I'm Anthony'.
He asked me how I'd ended up at the event and I told him I had met George once at a Pavaroti and Friends performance in Italy.
'Are you Darren Hayes?' he asked.
'Yes!' I said, rather shocked he knew.
'I'm Anthony Minghella' he said.
My mind flooded with all of his movies. The English Patient. The Talented Mr Ripley. And of course a tiny beautiful little film called Truly Madly Deeply.

Then he said 'I've always wanted to ask you, did you name your song after the movie?'.

And I don't know that I'd ever told a living soul that in fact, yes, I had.
I think at the time I was worried someone would sue me for using the title. But simply put the movie had a profound effect on me and naturally when I wrote the lyrics to my ultimate love song that was the phrase that fit.

I explained the above to him, told him how much I'd loved the movie.
He explained how it had been his first ever feature film and how much hard work it was and how much it changed his life.
I made the same comparisons about writing the song and we sat there for a moment both realizing that this one phrase had in fact completely defined our futures.

'We must keep in touch!' he said and actually meant it.
He told me how he felt we were clearly meant to meet and wished me all the best in the world.

It put such a wonderful spin on the evening.
Suddenly I felt a substance in a room that was full of insincerity.
I was struck by just how much grace he had and how genuine he'd Been. When we left the theatre, the paparazzi decided that I was newsworthy and snapped away to the point of almost bringing on epilepsy.
But I didn't care.
I'd met a genius. That's all I came away with.

I think I texted him once, and he texted me back.
Something kind and polite and that was the end of it really.
Life got in the way and people go off and do things and then two weeks ago I woke up to the news he had suddenly passed away.

The Times wrote an article about it here.


I can't say that I knew him very well.
Nor do I have the history to have been deeply traumatized by his passing.
But I was deeply saddened that the world lost this beautiful man in such a trivial way. I kept thinking about how worse off films will be now without his vision. I kept thinking of how much his particular grace and beauty will be missed and how cut short his amazing life was.

I don't know why I wanted to bring it up now but I feel a sort of debt to Anthony and his delicate artistry and I wanted to write something to say how grateful I am to have met such a genius lovely gentle and great man.

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